Book notes: Essentialism by Greg McKeown

Essentialism by Greg McKeown book summary review and key ideas.

Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown

Synopsis:

“Have you ever found yourself stretched too thin? Do you simultaneously feel overworked and underutilized? Are you often busy but not productive? Do you feel like your time is constantly being hijacked by other people’s agendas? If you answered yes to any of these, the way out is the Way of the Essentialist. The Way of the Essentialist isn’t about getting more done in less time. It’s about getting only the right things done. It is not a time management strategy, or a productivity technique. It is a systematic discipline for discerning what is absolutely essential, then eliminating everything that is not, so we can make the highest possible contribution towards the things that really matter.

By forcing us to apply a more selective criteria for what is Essential, the disciplined pursuit of less empowers us to reclaim control of our own choices about where to spend our precious time and energy – instead of giving others the implicit permission to choose for us. Essentialism is not one more thing – it’s a whole new way of doing everything. It’s about doing less, but better, in every area of our lives. Essentialism is a movement whose time has come.” -Audible

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Book notes: Why We Sleep by Matthew Walker

Why We Sleep by Matthew Walker book summary review and key ideas.

Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams by Matthew Walker

Synopsis:

“The first sleep book by a leading scientific expert – Professor Matthew Walker, director of UC Berkeley’s Sleep and Neuroimaging Lab – reveals his groundbreaking exploration of sleep, explaining how we can harness its transformative power to change our lives for the better.

Sleep is one of the most important but least understood aspects of our life, wellness, and longevity. Until very recently, science had no answer to the question of why we sleep, or what good it served, or why we suffer such devastating health consequences when we don’t sleep. Compared to the other basic drives in life – eating, drinking, and reproducing – the purpose of sleep remained elusive.

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Book notes: The Ride of a Lifetime by Robert Iger

The Ride of a Lifetime by Robert Iger book summary review and key ideas.

The Ride of a Lifetime: Lessons Learned from 15 years as CEO of the Walt Disney Company by Robert Iger

Synopsis:

“Robert Iger became CEO of The Walt Disney Company in 2005, during a difficult time. Competition was more intense than ever, and technology was changing faster than at any time in the company’s history. His vision came down to three clear ideas: Recommit to the concept that quality matters, embrace technology instead of fighting it, and think bigger – think global – and turn Disney into a stronger brand in international markets.

Fourteen years later, Disney is the largest, most admired media company in the world, counting Pixar, Marvel, Lucasfilm, and 21st Century Fox among its properties. Its value is nearly five times what it was when Iger took over, and he is recognized as one of the most innovative and successful CEOs of our era.

In The Ride of a Lifetime, Robert Iger shares the lessons he learned while running Disney and leading its 220,000-plus employees, and he explores the principles that are necessary for true leadership, including:

  • Optimism. Even in the face of difficulty, an optimistic leader will find the path toward the best possible outcome and focus on that, rather than give in to pessimism and blaming.
  • Courage. Leaders have to be willing to take risks and place big bets. Fear of failure destroys creativity.
  • Decisiveness. All decisions, no matter how difficult, can be made on a timely basis. Indecisiveness is both wasteful and destructive to morale.
  • Fairness. Treat people decently, with empathy, and be accessible to them.
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Book notes: Creative Calling by Chase Jarvis

Creative Calling by Chase Jarvis book summary review and key ideas.

Creative Calling: Establish a Daily Practice, Infuse Your World with Meaning, and Succeed in Work + Life by Chase Jarvis

Synopsis:

Life isn’t about “finding” fulfillment and success – it’s about creating it. Why then has creativity been given a back seat in our culture? No longer.

Creativity is a force inside every person that, when unleashed, transforms our lives and delivers vitality to everything we do. Establishing a creative practice is therefore our most valuable and urgent task – as important to our well-being as exercise or nutrition. 

The good news? Renowned artist, author, and CreativeLive founder, Chase Jarvis, reminds us that creativity isn’t a skill – it’s a habit available to everyone: beginners and lifelong creators, entrepreneurs to executives, astronauts to zookeepers, and everyone in between. Through small, daily actions we can supercharge our innate creativity and rediscover our personal power in life. 

Whether your ambition is a creative career, completing a creative project, or simply cultivating a creative mindset, Creative Calling will unlock your potential via Jarvis’s memorable “IDEA” system: 

  • Imagine your big dream, whatever you want to create – or become – in this world. 
  • Design a daily practice that supports that dream – and a life of expression and transformation. 
  • Execute on your ambitious plans and make your vision real.
  • Amplify your impact through a supportive community you’ll learn to grow and nurture.” -Audible
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Book notes: The Moment of Lift by Melinda Gates

The Moment of Lift by Melinda Gates book summary review and key ideas.

The Moment of Lift: How Empowering Women Changes the World by Melinda Gates

Synopsis:

A debut from Melinda Gates, a timely and necessary call to action for women’s empowerment.

“How can we summon a moment of lift for human beings – and especially for women? Because when you lift up women, you lift up humanity.”

For the last 20 years, Melinda Gates has been on a mission to find solutions for people with the most urgent needs, wherever they live. Throughout this journey, one thing has become increasingly clear to her: If you want to lift a society up, you need to stop keeping women down. 

In this moving and compelling audiobook, Melinda shares lessons she’s learned from the inspiring people she’s met during her work and travels around the world. As she writes in the introduction, “That is why I had to write this book – to share the stories of people who have given focus and urgency to my life. I want all of us to see ways we can lift women up where we live.”

Melinda’s unforgettable narrative is backed by startling data as she presents the issues that most need our attention – from child marriage to lack of access to contraceptives to gender inequity in the workplace. And, for the first time, she writes about her personal life and the road to equality in her own marriage. Throughout, she shows how there has never been more opportunity to change the world – and ourselves.

Writing with emotion, candor, and grace, she introduces us to remarkable women and shows the power of connecting with one another.

When we lift others up, they lift us up, too.” -Audible

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Book notes: Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman book summary review and key ideas.

Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine: A Novel by Gail Honeyman

Synopsis:

No one’s ever told Eleanor that life should be better than fine.  

Meet Eleanor Oliphant: She struggles with appropriate social skills and tends to say exactly what she’s thinking. Nothing is missing in her carefully timetabled life of avoiding social interactions, where weekends are punctuated by frozen pizza, vodka, and phone chats with Mummy. 

But everything changes when Eleanor meets Raymond, the bumbling and deeply unhygienic IT guy from her office. When she and Raymond together save Sammy, an elderly gentleman who has fallen on the sidewalk, the three become the kinds of friends who rescue one another from the lives of isolation they have each been living. And it is Raymond’s big heart that will ultimately help Eleanor find the way to repair her own profoundly damaged one.

Soon to be a major motion picture produced by Reese Witherspoon, Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine is the smart, warm, and uplifting story of an out-of-the-ordinary heroine whose deadpan weirdness and unconscious wit make for an irresistible journey as she realizes. . .” -Audible

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2019 Year in Review: Self-Discovery, Life Lessons & Dating Insights

What 2019 has taught me about life, people, dating, and myself.

This is the face I make when I’m thinking… thinking about what face I should make for this photo.

At the end of every “Year in Review” mega-post, I compile a list of all the major Life Lessons I’ve learned that year. For 2019, I realized that this list ended up becoming longer than the rest of the blog post. Therefore, I decided to separate them out as a sort of addendum to the main post.

In compiling these lessons, I noticed they fell into 4 major categories and have grouped them accordingly:

  • Principles of Life and Growth
  • What I’ve Learned About Myself
  • People Skills & Leadership
  • Dating & Relationships

Feel free to skip to the sections most interesting or relevant to you. Or just go through them all if you’re feeling in the “personal development” mood today.

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A Year in Review: 2019

Blessings, achievements, goals, and life lessons of the past year

Why Am I Writing This?

Ever since 2016, I started doing these yearly reviews to reflect on the past year. These are mostly for myself as a way to remember what has happened, what I have achieved, and prepare for the upcoming year. It is also a great place for me to express my gratitude for everything in the past year, as gratitude is a huge cornerstone of my reflection process.

For those of you who know me personally, you may know that I do daily, weekly, and monthly versions of this reflection process. I have daily journals to record my activities and thoughts of the day. I have a weekly review where I examine the highlights of my week as well as track my progress on personal goals. My monthly retrospectives focus mostly on big highlights and life lessons I’ve learned that month. This yearly reflection is a culmination of all three of those.

That’s also why it takes me almost 2 months to prepare this yearly post (mostly due to procrastination lol). I comb through my reflections to summarize my year into main highlights and share insights I’ve learned throughout the year.

My intent with making this public is to share what I’ve been up to, share some of my wins, be honest about my losses, keep myself accountable for my big goals, and hopefully inspire others to adopt a mindset of gratitude and reflection in their own lives.

Past Years In Review:

This year, I’ve also separated out my 2019 Life Lessons section into a separate post as a sort of addendum to this main post. Feel free to check it out if you want to hear about what I’ve learned this past year, both from books and from learning the hard way: experience.

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